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The case throws light on the various direct marketing initiatives implemented by Bata India Ltd (Bata India), India’s largest organized footwear retailer, to drive sales and reach out to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and thereby sustain business activity. The case study begins by looking at the early direct marketing initiatives of the footwear retailer, namely, ‘Bata Direct’ that was launched in 2008 to sustain business against the backdrop of the 2007-2008 global financial recession followed by Bata India’s various e-commerce initiatives to take on the increasing competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart. Bata India decided to slow down its retail expansion amid the coronavirus pandemic in mid-2020, and strengthen its online channels for growth. It segmented customers into Digital Natives, Digital Adopters, and Digital Novices based on their proficiency in using technology and introduced direct-to-home marketing initiatives targeted at different segments namely, ‘Bata Chat Shop’ and ‘Bata Store-On-Wheels,’ that allowed consumers to shop from the comfort and safety of their homes. The case study ends by touching on the future retail and business operations plans of Bata India including plans to focus more on the omni-channel approach, digitization of its processes to cut costs, and becoming a paperless organization.

Bata’s Direct Marketing Initiatives
The case briefly describes Flipkart’s long-term business strategy to become a value player in the Tier-II and III cities of India. The case delves specifically into the various credit products offered by the e-tailer to attract more buyers from Tier-II cities to its e-commerce platform. These include partnerships with a number of large banks to offer equated monthly installments (EMIs) on debit cards, zero interest or no cost EMIs, and payment options through Paytm to buyers. The case also focuses on certain strategic moves by Flipkart to improve affordability and convenience for small town shoppers, including launching ‘Flipkart Pay Later’ and applying for a non-banking financial company (NBFC) license. The case ends with a look at Flipkart’s continuing efforts to scale up the GMV (gross merchandise value), bring more medium and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) onto its platform, and focus on video commerce aimed at consumers from small towns and lower-income groups.

Flipkart - Making Online Shopping Affordable for Tier II Shoppers
The case describes the brand communications of Mamaearth, a Gurugram (a city southwest of New Delhi in northern India)-based personal care brand with a turnover over INR1 billion within a span of four years (2016-2020). Mamaearth’s marketing campaigns and brand communications were centered on the promise of using only the best of nature in its products. The brand communications were aimed at connecting with millennial parents – its target consumers – who believed in the philosophy of doing good and preferred to associate with brands that had the same belief system. In early 2020, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mamaearth announced “Goodness Inside” as its brand purpose, in line with its mission of offering safe personal care products that were good for human beings as well as the environment. The case then touches upon how Mamaearth communicated this brand purpose through its launch video on YouTube. The brand also used various social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to communicate the new brand purpose. The case then looks at how Mamaearth extended its ‘Goodness Inside’ brand purpose to community service during the COVID-19 pandemic through volunteers called ‘Goodness Ambassadors’. The case also focuses on the ‘#PlantGoodness’ initiative in October 2020 where the company pledged to plant a sapling against every order it received on its website www.mamaearth.in. The case study ends with the future plans of Mamaearth to increase its customer base from one million to over 10 million by 2025 and increase its revenues to INR5 billion.

Mamaearth’s ‘Goodness Inside’ Brand Communications
The case describes the various strategies undertaken by UNIBIC Foods India Pvt. Ltd. (Unibic) to create and consolidate its position in the highly competitive Indian biscuit industry. The case takes an in-depth look into the early history of the company and the differentiation strategy it used to make a market impact in the niche cookie segment. Later, the case discusses in detail Unibic’s marketing mix and media mix strategy. Information about Unibic’s product development strategy, retail strategy, and advertising strategy is provided. The efforts of the company to grow beyond its niche segment and enter other sub-segments in the Indian biscuit industry are described. The case also provides an insight into the challenges plaguing Unibic. Can Unibic grow from a niche brand to a challenger brand?

UNIBIC India: From Fastest Growing Niche Cookie Brand to a Challenger?
The case discusses the nuances of the experiential marketing strategy adopted by one of the leading Indian alcohol beverages company, Bacardi India Private Limited (Bacardi), to attract millennials. As alcohol advertising in India was prohibited, Bacardi resorted to an experiential marketing strategy centered on music. Starting from the late 1990s, it held various events like music festivals and dance parties, which created the notion that Bacardi stood for a great musical experience. The case then provides details about Bacardi’s shift of focus to the independent artiste. From 2017, the company began providing a platform for independent artistes to create, develop, and promote their music. From there, Bacardi’s focus evolved to facilitating long-term collaborations directly with an artiste through digital media, in order to create a brand narrative through their voices. Bacardi’s experiential marketing strategy enabled it to overcome advertising restrictions and create a strong brand identity. Will Bacardi’s association with music enable it to keep attracting the coming generations?

Bacardi’s Tryst with Experiential Marketing to Woo Indian Millennials
The case describes the product and distribution strategies of Britannia Industries Limited (Britannia) to strengthen its presence in rural India. This helped Britannia achieve a 21.5% year-on-year revenue growth even as other FMCG companies were registering sluggish growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Britannia’s growth was attributed to its strong presence in the rural markets, which were not as adversely impacted as the urban markets by the COVID-19 pandemic. The case begins with the origins of Britannia’s rural push followed by the product strategy applied by its Managing Director, Varun Berry (Varun), for the rural markets in which appropriately priced and packaged Lower Unit Packs (LUPs) of both basic and premium products were offered. Next, the case focuses on the distribution strategies applied by Britannia including the direct distribution and zero-day inventory models that ensured efficient and cost-effective delivery of its products. The case ends with a note on the future investment plans of Britannia to further deepen its distribution network in rural areas, launch vitamin rich and immunity boosting products, expand its dairy offerings and establish new production units.

Britannia’s Rural Market Push
The case study describes how CARS24, a new entrant into the largely unorganized pre-owned automobile market in India, addressed the existing pain points of sellers and buyers to become a unicorn in just five years after it was founded in 2015. Cars24 started its business operations assisting individual customers in selling their pre-owned cars to used car dealers. In 2019, it forayed into the business of selling pre-owned cars to individual customers and in 2020 the company entered the pre-owned 2-wheeler business. The case study also seeks to highlight the approaches taken by the company to offer the best automobile trading experience to sellers and buyers of pre-owned cars and two-wheelers in India. The case begins with a brief snapshot of the Indian pre-owned car market and the numerous issues faced by both buyers and sellers. The case study then details the innovative Customer-to-Business (C2B) model used by CARS24 to simplify the process of selling pre-owned cars and the Customer-to-Customer (C2C) business model it implemented to simplify the process of buying pre-owned cars. Next, the case describes the customer satisfaction and process adherence measuring mechanism undertaken by CARS24 to ensure a uniform customer experience across all its branches with the help of the Learning and Organizational Development (L&OD) and the Business Intelligence (BI) department. The case also focuses on the customer experience improvement program implemented by Cars24 to improve the quality of interaction between the company and the customer. The case touches upon the future plans of the company based on its strong foundation in technology that has made the customer experience efficient and reliable and helped differentiate the company from the competition.

Cars24 Creates a Differentiated Experience in Indian Used Car Marketplace
The case describes the hyper-personalized, artificial intelligence-based ‘Iss Diwali Aap#KiseKhushKarenge?’ (Who do you plan to bring joy to this Diwali?) campaign of Mondelez India, launched during the 2020 Diwali festival. Through the campaign, Mondelez India took its ‘generosity’ brand proposition to the next level by promoting over 1,800 local, small businesses for free. The digital campaigns were carried out through ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad, but the Most Generous Ad’ and the ‘#TheSweetestDiwali’ social media campaign that promoted Cadbury Celebrations gift box containing Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. The campaign underscored Mondelez India’s ‘Kuch Achha Ho Jaye, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye’ (Let something good happen, let something sweet happen) brand proposition introduced in 2018. Next, the case touches upon the conception, objectives, and the technology-based execution of the ad campaign. It focuses on the appreciation the campaign received from marketing professionals projecting the Cadbury brand as a truly responsible, inclusive brand that believed in sustainable growth. The case ends with a note on Mondelez India’s plans to significantly increase the investment in digital and the future prospects of digital marketing and hyper-personalized ads and their growing popularity to build an emotional connect with consumers through positive aspects such as generosity, compassion, and empathy.

Mondelez India’s AI Powered Hyper-Personalized AD Campaign
The caselet talks about the goof-up by Indian film actor and social media influencer Disha Patani in her Instagram post promoting two new smartphones in the Samsung Galaxy M Series. The caselet starts by providing details about Patani’s Instagram post and the blunder that she committed. The repercussions of the post on Patani’s social media image are described and questions are raised on the role of her social media team. Finally, the impact that the botch-up had on Samsung’s campaign and brand image is discussed.

Samsung and Disha Patani: Influencer Marketing Fail
Byju Raveendran founded the eponymous ‘Byju’s Learning App’ in the Indian education technology sector in 2015. The app primarily targeted K-12 (kindergarten to standard 12) school going children in Indian metro cities and later the smaller cities and rural areas. It positioned itself as a viable alternative to classroom-based teaching. Within a short span of time, the startup became a great success story. As a result, it attracted private equity investments from top-notch foreign firms and went on to become a ‘quadricorn’ (more than $10 billion valuation) in 2020. The present case study chronicles the background of the promoter, the early days of the startup, the growth strategies it adopted to become the market leader, and the challenges it faced

Byju’s Learning App: An Indian Edutech Startup’s Growth and Future Challenges
In April 2019, Adidas AG of Germany launched its fully recyclable training shoes – FUTURECRAFT.LOOP (Loop). It took Adidas close to seven years to develop the Loop out of a single material and without using any form of glue or solvent. The shoes were launched in a beta phase and a full scale commercial launch was slated for Spring 2021. The customers were supposed to return the Loop to Adidas once it had reached the end of its life. The company would then break down the shoes into their components and make a new shoe from the old one. For this purpose, Loop was constructed out of a single material – Thermoplastic Polyeutherane (TPU). Loop was a step toward reducing the waste and landfills created by the shoe industry. Making shoes out of used shoes was an entirely new concept as Adidas was recycling the old shoes instead of downcycling them. The company had been experimenting with various innovations to reduce waste and increase sustainability in the environment. And Loop was part of one such innovative offering from Adidas.

FUTURECRAFT.LOOP – 100% Recyclable Sneakers from Adidas

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